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Songs of Insurrection by JC Kang

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Myke Cole updates Fantasy-Faction on his latest plans…

Breach Zone (sm cover)We’ve made no secret of our admiration of the work of Myke Cole over the years… We’ve given all three of his books, Control Point, Fortress Frontier and Breach Zone pretty damned decent reviews and interviewed the man not once, not twice, but three times – the third we even jumped him without notice at the Library of Congress.

So, knowing the Shadow Ops series was always going to be a trilogy, when book three was released a few months ago we at Fantasy-Faction – and Shadow Ops fans across the world – couldn’t help but die a little inside upon turning its final page. Book three was undoubtedly the best book in Myke’s current series and it was exciting to see just how much Myke has grown as a writer in a relatively short period of time. I don’t want to give away anything that could be classified as a spoiler, but it certainly felt that Myke could pick the story up and continue taking it forward. But, apparently that wasn’t the plan…

Then, thankfully, news broke that Myke had signed a new deal and although it wouldn’t be a continuation of Shadow Ops, it would be a set of novels set in the same world. His agents explained that “The first of the new books will be GEMINI CELL, which is set be a prequel to Myke’s debut novel, CONTROL POINT.” The book will be set in the early days of the Great Reawakening, when humans first begin to realise they have powers, and we will see the birth of the Supernatural Operations Corps that we became familiar with in the recently completed trilogy. The protagonist will be James Schweitzer, a US Navy Seal who “stumbles upon the secret and pays with his life. But SEALs are a breed apart, and death is only the first step on Schweitzer’s long road to vengeance, revelation and redemption.” Mykes agents said that: “The story, Myke says, takes place in ‘a lower magic, occult setting’, yet ’offers the same high octane modern military fantasy that readers of the original SHADOW OPS trilogy will love.”

Of course, we were pretty fricken excited about this and, to top it off, we then heard word that this wasn’t all Myke was working on. So, during the Library of Congress Interview – linked to above – we decided to hint that we’d heard such things… Here’s what Myke had to say about the novel, The Fractured Girl, he is working on:

It’s dark, grimdark in fact, a la Mark Lawrence. If I had to compare it to any other writer, it’s Mark Lawrence. It’s got an 11-, 12-year old, gay, female protagonist. It’s really out of my wheelhouse. I think it’s really good, but of course I’m re-writing it now, so we’ll see.

We asked Myke if a psedenym was a possibility and his response was:

I will not write under a pseudonym. F*** that. I wrote this book, and if you feel that my name is somehow going to f*** it, then you don’t need to be publishing me. I told you this before [during his talk earlier that day] if some publisher says that, look at publishing. It’s not exactly doing well. So I’m not going to take that advice. If a publisher wants me to be Loretta Hewitt to publish it, I’ll either self-publish it, or I won’t publish it. I’m not going to do that.

That was a couple of months ago now, so we were excited when Myke dropped by the forums earlier this week to address a question on whether he’d be writing any more books in the Shadow Ops series after this new trilogy and address the matter of why he is choosing to branch out when he has found such palpable success in rebirthing the military-fantasy genre:

I will continue writing military themed books (and even SHADOW OPS universe books) for as long as I can get paid to do it.

But it’s also really important to me personally to break out of the military-writer stereotype. I want to be thought of as a good writer regardless of sub-genre. To that end, I’m working on a straight-up grimdark fantasy a la Mark Lawrence’s BROKEN EMPIRE books. My agent has expressed some interest, and we’ll see if I can get it over the top.

I really appreciate you reading my books, and caring enough to want to know what the future of the [Shadow Ops] series is. I’ve said before that I write to communicate, and knowing that I’m reaching people makes all the difference in the world.

You all rock.

As always, a classy response from a classy guy. All of us here at Fantasy-Faction are excited for Gemini Cell and appealing to publishers everywhere to snap up The Fractured Girl once Myke’s agent begins placing it under their noses.



  1. Avatar David Greybeard says:

    I love the Shadow Ops series. But I’m not sure about a prequel series. Just a pet peeve of mine, don’t care for prequels as I believe, the story should always move forward, not backwards. Nonetheless, I’ll no doubt read his next novel.

    • Avatar Stephan says:

      I do believe the plan is for the new trilogy to overtake the old trilogy in the end, though. It’s something Myke’s been doing from the start. In his second book, Fortress Frontier, he started well before the events in Control Point, and then in Breach Zone, he used flashbacks to go even further back.

      I might be wrong, but I suspect the new trilogy is going to show a different part of the same world through different eyes. In doing so, it will start as a prequel, but it won’t end as such. I doubt it will be a prequel in the traditional sense.

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